Posted on October 09 2018
Words by Hannah Beaumont-Laurencia.
Where to start... from my fearless and hugely ambitious 23 year old self to the grounded and more discerning 34 year old that I am today, I have certainly got some stories to tell! I'm not naive enough to think this is the end of my learning, or that all the lessons I've learnt so far are enough to make the next 10 years seamless. They have definitely shaped me and made our business strong and robust but I am still learning everyday and as the business grows to new levels, I am regularly faced with new challenges. Here's my top 'Five Lessons I've Learnt After 10 Years of Business'...
1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
In the early days, we had one key account representing about 80% of the business. It seemed amazing until unfortunately, we lost most of this business due a variety of reasons and were faced with a very challenging year in which we had to build new accounts quickly to fill the deficit!
2. Reach out
Surround yourself with like minded people who can help and offer you advice. This includes asking people you don’t know for help, networking and entering awards.
3. Exit any relationships on a good note (you never know when your paths will cross again!)
As the business has grown, we have revisited or recommended many other accounts and factories to others. Some factories, for example, we had left as we couldn’t reach their minimum order quantity, but they were wonderful factories and now we have grown, they are very happy to welcome us back.
4. Take time for yourself to restock and re-energise - you will come back a stronger person
In the early days, I hardly took a day off - let alone a holiday! I would work evenings and weekends as standard but looking back, I was completely burnt out and I’m not sure how I kept going.
5. Don’t be scared to say no
Starting a business can be a little scary at first, especially with all the responsibilities and new things you need to learn! I was so driven to succeed through those early years that I never said no, even when I should have done. Whether it be a store miles away that wanted me to visit and show them the collection on a Sunday afternoon, a customer that wanted a different colour or size made just for them or a factory that wanted a price increase.You name it, I did it.
I hope you can relate to something within this post, and that you can at least take one point away to help improve an area of your business. If you'd like to learn more about the Beaumont Organic journey and how to grow you business, you can also sign up to my 'Building A Brand With Purpose' workshop.
Thanks for reading! Hannah x